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Afghan leader speaks with Pompeo amid fresh peace efforts

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He also pushed for changes to Afghanistan's "illegitimate" constitution - a document staunchly protected by the government - saying it should be based on "Islamic principles, national interests, historic pride and social justice".

"Russian Federation has been calling for intra-Afghan dialogue, which would involve the government and the Taliban movement", Lavrov said, stressing the importance of the Moscow consultations on Afghanistan. "It was very satisfactory", said Karzai.

According to the Press service of the Uzbek Foreign Ministry, Yamamoto stressed that the United Nations and its institutions, particularly the UNAMA, welcome and support the consistent policy of Uzbekistan, led by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, to start the peace process in Afghanistan.

Along with Karzai, the former president, numerous 38 delegates from Kabul have held prominent government positions.

"By getting the Afghan opposition to talk to the Taliban, Moscow risks fracturing an already fragile yet fledgeling peace process-and provoking a fresh crisis within an Afghan government already riven by deep divisions", Michael Kugelman, an analyst at the Wilson Center in Washington, told AFP.

The absence of Afghan government representatives at the talks have underscored the Taliban's hostility toward Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's increasingly marginalised administration in Kabul.

The Moscow meeting came a week after the insurgents held separate peace talks with American negotiators in Doha, where Ghani was again not invited to the table. It could include representatives of the current Afghan government, alongside others, to "select or elect a future government".

A top U.S. general also said that Kabul must be involved in talks if a push for a peace deal is to be successful.

"Peace needs a realistic approach".

They argue that Ghani seeks to spoil this rare opening for peace and that his resistance derives from a fear that if talks progress, he could lose his chance for five more years in power.

Former vice president Mohammad Younus Qanooni also got to address delegates and said war was not a solution to the country's problems.

Karzai and other Afghan leaders were confident that the Moscow siting will pave the way for start of an intra-Afghan dialogue.

"The era of repression has ended".

The marathon negotiations ended with both sides touting "progress" - spurring Afghan fears the U.S. could cut a deal with the militants to withdraw its forces before a lasting peace with Kabul is reached. We have parliament, legal and judicial institutions.

But the lengthy statement also warned that, "Under the name of women [sic] rights, there has been work for immorality, indecency and circulation of non-Islamic cultures". He said Afghanistan wants good relations with all countries but will not allow anyone to interfere in Afghan affairs.

Fawzia Koofi, a member of the Afghan parliament and one of the two women to participate, said she received a cool reception from the Taliban when she pressed them on women's rights during closed-door meetings in Moscow.

"I recommend all participants here reach a conclusion not to end our meeting until we reach a comprehensive settlement".

"But after ending their military presence, their non-military teams can come and we need them too, they can come and take part in the reconstruction and development process", he said.

Qanooni in defiance to the Taiban rejected the group's perception of the Afghan Constitution and instead described it as unique and one of the better ones in the region.

The Taliban, responding to Trump's speech, rejected any suggestion of a lingering USA focus on counter-terrorism after troops are drawn down, reiterating their long-held demand that all foreign troops get out.

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